If you own pets, you’ve probably struggled with treating fleas and flea bites on your pets. Despite their small size, fleas significantly impact animals as flea bites cause skin irritation and even disease in severe cases. Learn how to make homemade flea traps to control flea activity in your house and avoid flea infestation.
If you spot your pet scratching often or notice small dark insects navigating your pet’s fur, fleas are the most likely culprit. These insects jump and latch onto pets and clothes while outside and make their way indoors, feeding and laying eggs in your pet’s fur.
Fleas are difficult to remove, thanks to their sharp claws that allow them to dig into flesh, but if their numbers grow, it’s common to find fleas jumping across the carpet in your home in search of a new host.
Making Flea Traps at Home
Like bed bugs, it’s best to tackle a flea problem as soon as you find it to avoid their numbers growing. Utilize household items to create the best flea traps to tackle a flea problem inside the house.
Fleas find new hosts by detecting vibration, movement, body heat, and even breathing, making it difficult to avoid these pests if they invade your home. Use flea traps to attract and kill fleas to protect yourself and your pets.
Dealing with Fleas at Home
Not to be confused with flea beetles that feed on plants, fleas are small brown insects that are difficult to see. Regardless of their size, their behavior of crawling through pet fur and jumping across the carpet in search of a new host is unmistakable. Jumping fleas look like small dots.
Adult fleas latch onto pests to feed and lay flea eggs on the pet’s skin. When the eggs hatch, the flea larvae feed on blood from your pet or flea poop, also known as flea dirt.
Various commercial items get fleas off your pets, with the most popular being the flea collar, an accessory for pets that uses chemicals to kill fleas.
Although safer brands of this item exist, collars are not recommended for pets as the chemicals may irritate their skin. Instead, home remedies for trapping flies on your pet and in your home allow you to kill these insects without harming your cat or dog.
Homemade Flea Traps with Tape
Commercial flea traps that use glue attract fleas using lights. Create a sticky trap using non-toxic adhesive tape, cardboard, and a light source to make one of the most effective flea traps at home.
A light source in a dark room is a simple way to draw fleas into a trap, which is easy to accomplish with a night light. Create long rolls of tape to spread across the board and position the board against a wall under the night light. Turn the light on at night to draw fleas in and check the trap in the morning for dead fleas.
Glue Trap for Catching Fleas
Because fleas are small, catching them in a sticky substance is a quick way to trap fleas and prevent them from escaping. To create a fast and safe glue trap, use a sticky material that won’t dry out before the fleas stick to it.
Warm corn syrup and water in equal parts on the stove until it boils. Allow the mixture to cool before pouring the corn syrup into a bowl or container. Stick a tall candle inside the corn syrup so that it stands up.
Place the container in a dark room with high flea activity and light the candle. Fleas flock to the heat that light provides. Fleas jumping to reach the light fall into the DIY flea trap and become stuck in the sticky base.
Soapy Water Trap
The ultimate flea trap involves water, a container, and liquid dish soap. Fleas seek out water, and adding dish soap makes them unable to land on the water’s surface. After falling into the water, the fleas cannot escape and drown.
Fill a container with water and include a few tablespoons of Dawn dish soap. Mix until the water becomes soapy. Leave the container in an area of the house where fleas are most active. Check on the trap in the next few days to check for dead fleas.
Note: Adding a light source is the best bait for a flea trap. Fleas seek out heat sources, and a candle in the middle of the water in a dark room helps attract fleas.
Electric Flea Trap Alternative
Commercial flea traps use a small light bulb to attract fleas toward a sticky pad that catches thousands of fleas. Cat fleas are phototactic, meaning that they are highly responsive to light. Bright colors like red and yellow also draw fleas.
To make your version of this trap, use sticky pads positioned under lamps, preferably with yellow lights. Check the sticky pad often as more fleas become stuck, and replace the pad as necessary.
The Easy Way to Trap Fleas
If you have cat or dog fleas on your carpet, getting rid of all the fleas involves careful planning to control the areas of your house where fleas are active. Flea dirt or waste gets left behind on pets but may end up staining your floors.
It’s best to work room by room when tackling the flea population in your home, treating one area at a time and using a homemade flea treatment to prevent fleas from entering treated rooms.
Apple cider vinegar is highly versatile, from cooking to cleaning and even repelling fleas. To repel and dry out fleas, create a flea treatment spray using apple cider vinegar and sea salt.
Mix vinegar and water before adding salt to the bottle and dissolve. Spray the carpet and furniture in the room with the apple cider vinegar spray to deter flea activity and dry out any fleas present. Use it as flea treatment for beds – human and pet – to ensure flea-free sleep.
You can also easily mix your own flea spray with vinegar and baking soda the same way. Substitute baking soda for the salt in this recipe.
Thoroughly vacuum the room to suck up remaining fleas before dumping the vacuum container and taking the bag outside. Retreat the cleaned room to prevent more fleas from entering.
DIY Flea Trap with Coconut Oil
Without a flea comb, fleas are difficult to remove from your pet’s fur due to the small claws on their feet that allow them to grab hair follicles. After giving a pet infested with fleas a bath, you can find fleas clinging to the fur, and they don’t come away easily.
To trap and kill fleas that won’t leave your pet’s fur, use coconut oil as a natural remedy for these biting insects. Coconut oil soothes your pet’s skin to help ease irritation from flea bites while also suffocating fleas that come in contact with the oil.
Mix water with coconut oil to form a spray before adding an essential oil like rosemary that works well to repel fleas. Fleas that touch the oil have their exoskeletons clogged, trapping them on your pet as they become unable to jump and escape.
This DIY spray also repels fleas on humans naturally. Be sure to use an essential oil that you don’t mind smelling for a while.
Remove Fleas with Lemon Juice
Flea combs are a helpful tool for pulling stubborn fleas out from your pet’s fur; however, the main issue with using a comb is that fleas are not dead. As you remove the fleas, there is a chance they may jump from the comb onto the carpet, where they become lost in the fabric.
To avoid losing fleas, dip the flea comb in a container of lemon juice diluted with water to trap the fleas on the tool as you comb your pet. Fleas do not like citrus fruits. Use this to your advantage and make a natural flea spray for your dog that includes lemon. Simple flea repellents made with lemon or oranges are effective for keeping fleas away.
Although it’s easy to pass off your cat or dog scratching as a sign that your pet needs a bath, it could be a sign of a flea problem. Be proactive to prevent an infestation and set up traps around the house to catch wandering fleas.
Cedar is an option for eliminating a flea issue outdoors. Cedar shavings do repel fleas so incorporate them in your mulch. Add some cedar shavings to small bags and spread them throughout the house or make a cedar essential oil spray to spritz in strategic locations.
Scratching at flea bites could lead to an infection on your pet, and if fleas begin to live on the carpet, it could make living in your home uncomfortable. Use home remedies for trapping fleas to control their numbers without relying on a professional service to resolve the issue.
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